Did You Know? : The Impact of Health and Wellness On Our Hair - Good Wash Day

Did You Know? : The Impact of Health and Wellness On Our Hair

This guest blogpost is the second in a series by Paige Lewin, host of Texture Talks, a podcast about afro, textured, and curly hair. 

Paige says...

On episode 007 of The Texture Talks Podcast I interviewed Natalian Williams, a hair and scalp health educator who has developed a range of incredible skills and products supporting hair growth and overall wellness.

As a result of being diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism, which is a condition where the thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroid hormones, Natalian had to work incredibly hard to understand the importance of health, nutrition and also the power of her diet, especially when it came to maintaining beautiful, healthy hair.

As discussed on my previous blogpost about our hair being dead (here's a link if you haven’t read it yet … you’re welcome), we have to really focus on not just what we put into our bodies but how we treat our bodies, in order to achieve the kind of hair we’re striving for.

So I thought I would share the top three biggest health and wellness tips from my interview with Natalian. They really helped me on my own natural hair care journey, and I hope they might help you too!

Be Careful With Drastic Diets

After Natalian was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism, she started experiencing heavy shedding of her hair. She decided to drastically change her diet to re-regulate her body's metabolism which she hoped would help send thyroid hormones to her organs, which in turn might reduce the volume of shedding she was experiencing.

She put herself on a very sudden, strict carnivore diet, avoiding all carbs, and sugar, and as a result of this dramatic change in her eating and drinking, Natalian found herself suffering with even more shedding; her hair was falling out in clumps.

The moral of the story here is even without a thyroid condition, it is important to understand that very hasty changes in your diet, without consulting a licensed nutritionist, doctor or professional can have very serious ramifications on not only your general health, but the health of your hair and scalp too.

Removing key vitamins, minerals and protein rich foods from your daily consumption can have a direct impact on the health of your hair. My advice is always take the time to seek out a specialist before drastically modifying your diet, which leads me onto my next top tip.

Don’t forget your checkups!

Something I’ve learned not just from Natalian, but also from Sam Stewart, the Consultant Trichologist I mentioned in my last blog whom I interviewed for Episode 003 of Texture Talks, that notable changes in the behaviours of your hair and scalp could be a symptom of something deeper.

There are so many haicare products making big claims, but no amount of ‘growth oil’ or ‘thickening conditioner’ will solve problems caused by internal triggers from within your body. Many of us will develop conditions, allergies or deficiencies over the course of our lives that are totally unexpected and sometimes incredibly hard to detect, as Natalian discovered when she was first diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism pretty much out of nowhere.

So it’s super important that should you notice the slightest changes in the quality or integrity of your hair, you try to avoid the urge to hop onto YouTube or buy every hair repair cream, oil or serum you can find in your local beauty supply shop. Instead, make an appointment with your GP.

Natalian suffered for months with hair loss, really struggling to find solutions. However when she received an official diagnosis, she was able to understand what was happening inside her body. This allowed her to educate herself over time on what she specifically needed to overcome this hurdle so that her natural hair would start to re-grow once again.

Blood work can identify whether your iron and ferritin levels are within a health range. Or ensure you’re not overproducing DHT (a hormone which, in high volumes, can shrink your hair follicles and shorten the hair growth cycle, resulting in hair loss). Ensuring our bodies are at optimum health is a crucial step on our hair care journey.

Last but not least, the most simple but possibly most useful tip of all...

Are you really drinking enough water?

I know we’ve all heard this before, but I never truly understood the importance until speaking with Natalian. Water makes up roughly 25% of the full weight of one of our many strands of hair! That is more than I ever could have imagined. If ever there was motivation to drink at least two litres of water daily it's to help strengthen hair and seriously increase hair growth.

Understanding that water is one of the key ingredients supporting vitamins, which directly contribute to the growth rate of our hair follicles, really helped me to get my butt into gear and stay on top of my hydration throughout the day.

Keeping our bodies hydrated can also minimise the occurence of split ends and dryness, whilst also keeping our scalp happy and healthy meaning we're less likely to develop issues such as dandruff.

There are a number of incredible drinking vessels out there to help you remember to not only drink enough, but also to remind us when we’ve maybe gone a little too long without hydrating ourselves. I would definitely do a little research to find one that can help you stay consistent (I like this one from Amazon), I have no doubts you’ll see a positive change in your haircare regime as a result!

I totally get that life can get very stressful and overwhelming, juggling family, work, hobbies and everything else that gets thrown at us all at once. I get it. But for those of us who are working hard to repair our hair, and achieve beautiful, healthy locks I hope that today's blog has helped give you a good place to start if you were wondering how.

Make sure you pop back for the next blog in my Did You Know? series. I'll be sharing the crazy truth around the fact that we all have a length limit with regards  how long our hair can actually grow! I know, I was shocked too.

Until next time!

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